Published on December 3rd, 2019 | by Catherine Tingey0
Living with Open Palms
Living with Open Palms
Nearly everything drops into our palms and leaves again.
I once met a man whom I felt an immediate and intense connection with. It seemed predestined and we were both so smitten that we couldn’t get enough of one other.
Shortly after meeting, we began to worry about ‘the future.’
Would we be compatible in life, not just as lovers? Should we be monogamous? Should we have children and if so, when?
Within weeks we’d crushed our budding affair with the heavy weight of expectation.
I turned to my best girlfriend, who is also a spiritual teacher, and she reminded me, ‘Open palms, Catherine. Open palms.’
Everything comes to us and is eventually replaced by something else. Sometimes for a night, sometimes for a season.
Both pleasure and pain will pass.
In order to receive gifts, our palms must be open. A closed fist cannot hold or experience the richness that life has to offer us.
Living with open palms means trusting in a power greater than ourselves to give and take away freely, as these are lessons for our own evolution.
Our goal is to keep the palms open – feel, breathe and experience – and never close the hand.
In this way, we avoid clinging to experiences in the past.
We relinquish the desire that things could be different from what is showing up in the present.
And we allow those things to be taken from us, if needed,and replaced with new things.
It is a natural human desire to attach. If we love someone, we draw them closer. Materials things we cling to.
We may even define ourselves by the material milestones which took time to acquire – our careers, our homes, our relationships, our children.
There is nothing inherently wrong with attachment. But we suffer when we argue with what is, with what is showing up in the present moment, and when we clench and grasp out of fear of losing.
To live with open palms is to allow something to be instead of willing it to be.
It’s a state of being versus grasping. Allowing instead of desiring.
It’s an acknowledgement of transience and impermanence, a central tenet of Buddhist philosophy.
My girlfriend was right.
I opened my palms and let the infatuation be. Allowed it to move through me, show me what I needed to learn.
And then it was over. Short-lived but heady.
It hurt in the months after as I clung to a desire that things could be different, that we could have had greater compatibility.
With time, I saw that everything was as it should be.
I released him and opened my palms.
What in your life today could be made easier by living with open palms?